During his time at Harvard, Buttigieg worked as an investigative intern at the NBC news affiliate in Chicago, WMAQ-TV. He also worked as an intern for the 2002 congressional campaign of former U.S. Rep. Jill Long Thompson (D-IN-04). Later, he worked as an adviser on her unsuccessful 2008 campaign for Governor of Indiana.
From 2004-2005, Buttigieg worked as conference director for The Cohen Group, the international consulting group founded by former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen (R). Also in 2004, Buttigieg spent several months as a policy and research specialist with then-Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA)’s unsuccessful campaign for U. S. president.
Returning to the United States after his graduation from Oxford, Buttigieg worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, a management strategy consulting firm, from 2007 to 2010. At this point, Buttigieg decided the time had come to throw his own hat into the political ring.
In 2008, Barack Obama had won Buttigieg’s home state of Indiana on his way to winning the U. S. presidency. In addition, although Indiana was a traditionally “red” or Republican state, one of its U. S. Senators at the time, Evan Bayh, was a Democrat. Many thought that IN might be “trending blue” and Buttigieg wanted to provide a new generation of progressive leadership. In 2010, he won the Democratic Party nomination to become State Treasurer of Indiana. Unfortunately, 2010 proved to be a huge year for Republicans across the nation and Buttigieg not only lost to incumbent Richard Mourdock, but lost in a crushing landslide, winning only 37.5% of the vote!